The BMW M3 looks headed for some stiff in-house rivalry in the form of a secret twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder version of the 3-series
22 April 2005

The BMW M3 looks headed for some stiff in-house rivalry in the form of a secret twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder version of the 3-series that’s little more than a year away from introduction. The new car, depicted here in computer-generated images based on recent scoop photographs, will be badged 335i according to Autocar sources.

The future 3-series range-topper will be ready for launch in left-hand-drive European markets by mid-2006, with right-hand-drive UK sales six months later. To be offered in coupé, saloon and estate guises, the 335i should bridge the gap that will be created in BMW’s range as the next M3 moves upmarket when it arrives in 2007 with 4.0-litre V8 power and a price to match.

The 3.0-litre straight six (right) is said to produce around 330bhp – up 72bhp on the new 330i and just 13bhp shy of today’s 3.2-litre M3. The new powerplant takes a leaf out of BMW’s latest diesel engine development by employing two turbochargers – one operating at lower engine speeds to boost low-end torque with the other called upon to extend power at the top end.‘It’s going to take turbocharging to a whole new level,’ said a supplier privy to the new engine’s performance claims. Nothing’s official, but a 0-60mph time of around 6.0sec appears to be on the cards with top speed limited to 155mph. By coupling turbocharging with Vanos variable valve timing and Valvetronic, the new engine is said to be very economical and Euro4 emission compatible.It’s possible that BMW is planning to provide the 335i with a new double-clutch gearbox similar to Volkswagen’s acclaimed DSG transmission. Tipped to replace the sequential manual unit used on the old 3-series, its development is cloaked in secrecy with a launch date still undetermined.

The new BMW won’t be the only model to carry the 335 name. Also under development is a new 3-series model fitted with the same twin turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder diesel that’s used in the 535d.

Our Verdict

BMW M3

You’d imagine that a higher roofline and four doors would hinder the BMW M3 saloon’s capabilities compared to the M4, but you'd be wrong

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK